Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Archive for November, 2008

Economic Recovery, Part II – You, Me and Everyone

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 30, 2008

Where is the Federal Government getting the billions, nay trillions, of dollars to fund the (choose one) bailout, stimulus package, economic recovery? So far, it’s not from the taxpayers. The Treasury is borrowing the money from investors and using it to purchase assets and provide subsidies. In order to inject cash into the economy, the government is loaning money to or buying interest-bearing stock from select banks and companies like AIG insurance. In theory, this creation of new money is not inflationary because the government is getting something of value (stock etc.) in return. Hopefully, when the economy recovers, the Government can sell the stock and get repaid for loans. Hopefully, the interest and capital gains from the loans and stocks will cover the outright subsides and purchases of non-performing assets like bad mortgages and consumer loans. The Feds also are guaranteeing some privately held assets. For example, the FDIC increased insurance on bank accounts from $100,000 to $250,000. Hopefully, this will halt runs on banks by depositors fearing collapse of their bank. Hopefully, it will reduce the number of failing banks and therefore the Government will not have to pay any insurance claims.

These actions, we are told, are necessary to deal with the unprecedented economic crisis. The smartest people from Wall Street to the ivory towers of academia are working on the problem. Hopefully, they’ve got the right solution. Hopefully, Congress won’t make it worse.



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Economic Recovery, Part I – You

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 30, 2008

Had it with the stock market, bond market, real estate market; consider these “ifs.” If your investment portfolio has lost 40% of its value in the current crash, how long will it take to recover?

If you put your remaining capital in a nice, safe CD or government bond at 3%, you’ll be whole again in about 17.5 years – less inflation of course, which means you will never recover.

If you find something that earns 9%, you’ll be good in only 6 years. Make that 9 years assuming 3% inflation per year.

If the stock market recovers to pre crash levels, happy days will be here again in just under 3 years assuming 20% growth per year. Hey! It’s happened before.

It’s all a matter of tolerance for risk and ulcers.

To calculate the numbers for your investments, use the following, admittedly overly simplistic, formula:

A (pre crash investment} minus B (loss) = C (post crash investment)

C times 1.XX times 1.XX times … = Approximately A where XX = percent (.20 = 20%)

Example: 100 minus 40 = 60

60 times 1.2 = 72 times 1.2 = 86.4 times 1.2 = 103.7 = 103.7 or just under 3 years.

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Civics Test

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 25, 2008

Reportedly, the average American got 49% correct. College graduates managed 55% right. Any wonder Obama won.

There are 33 multiple choice questions and you get your score when done.

Civics Test

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Education & Technology

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 14, 2008

A friend sent me a link that is well worth watching if you are interested in the major changes in this world and those yet to come in the areas of technology and education. Click on Do You Know?

In the video, there is a reference to Shift Happens. I took a brief look and it is a discussion site where anyone may enter comments on the subject of education and technology.

Posted in Education | Leave a Comment »

Obama Hope

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 10, 2008

While I voted for John McCain, I fully recognize the worldwide significance of overwhelmingly electing our first non-white President. It may overcome any concerns, and I have many, about the policies he may pursue in concert with the left leaning congressional leaders Pelosi and Reid. What President Obama will actually do is yet to be determined but for the sake of the nation, I hope he governs from the center, not the left.

There may be a corollary benefit to Barack Obama’s election. Hopefully, it will end or at least begin to end the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton led race based victim hood business and truly fulfill Rev. Martin Luther King’s dream that people will be judged on the “content of their character” rather than the color of their skin. Along this line, read the Seattle PI Op Ed by Emeritus UW Professor Hubert Locke “A Letter to My Dad” and then read a response letter-to-the editor from Robert Bailey “Locke feels belated pride in US”.

There is a real divide between primarily older African-Americans who trace their roots back to slavery and preach a victim hood that can never be overcome and most everyone else. Barack Obama falls into the latter category but he inspires the former and their progeny. If he does nothing else but replace “victim” with “yes, we can”, he will have made a significant contribution.

Posted in Presidential Politics | 1 Comment »

Election Bitterness

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 7, 2008

There is some bitterness in the land from the results of last Tuesday’s election. Below are two examples. One an e-mail sent to a friend of mine and another published in The American Spectator. Hopefully this will fade with time but may well be replaced by fear and concern. The nation has rolled the dice for change and will get it from the Left. Can 2010 come too soon?

First, the e-mail:

“Orson was in my platoon as a second Lt. at Quantico. A North Carolina
Republican who spent five years in the Hanoi Hilton with McCain. Ran for
Congress on Hawaii–and come within two percent. Then served on the FCC.”

To all:
Recovering from defeat. Suspect it will take a while. Have no intentions
to continue to send to my email list, but thought this below sums up my
worst fears. Thank you all for tolerating my missives, hanging in there
and (most of you) supporting John McCain.
The simple truth is the nation’s majority, including a large number of
“takers” and idealistic young people who, at this point in life, haven’t a
clue, voted for a rank amateur of questionable leanings and philosophy over
a tried and tested man who is incredibly bright, courageous and of great
character and integrity — a man who has an extraordinary life of serving
his country.
It is hard to understand — even with the hatred of George Bush — it
defies logic, and is heavy on emotion. A dear friend of mine and Angie
who is as staunch and active Republican as they come wrote the following to
us and other friends:
“This was been an unusual week for me. (Deleted) died 6 years ago today,
(deleted) and I would be married 50 years on Saturday and our Nation died
on Tuesday. ….. I will stop at the Board of Elections and remove my name
from the voting list. I will never again participate in a process that
insults the John McCains, (former POWs) and millions of others who have
worn the uniform of this Nation and their families who have sacrificed so
much to maintain this great Christian Nation. Since the party first
Democrats, minorities and uninformed young people believe that a young,
inexperienced, unproven, radical, Muslin heritage, smooth talking person
can and should be trusted with the leadership of this country over an
experienced American patriot who has spent his life leading and protecting
our heritage leaves no place for me. I will regroup and enjoy the rest of
my life with my loved ones. I have given enough to this Nation.” (My
edits above for privacy reasons)
It would be good to keep in touch with you, but not in so burdensome a
manner as with my frequent messages. We have much work to do. November
10th is the 233rd anniversary of our beloved United States Marine Corps,
and November 11th is the 42 anniversary of my being shot down over North
Vietnam and captured. I am a product of history as are we all. I will be
celebrating the Corps on several occasions beginning tomorrow. I treasure
my friendships.
Blessings to you this holiday season, be well, and keep in touch.
Semper Fi,

And from The American Spectator an article by Quin Hillyer, “Saul Alinsky Takes The White House”

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Hey Chris, Hire Dino

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 7, 2008

In a post election news conference, Dino Rossi said he “offered his services and help” to Governor Gregoire and “wanted her to be successful as Governor.”

In Governor Gregoire’s news conference, she responded that she “would take him up on his offer.” She also said “I do not intend… (to raise taxes)” and that “now is not the time to raise taxes.” She noted that the state faces a deficit and economic challenges which will require everyone’s help to solve. Gregoire deplored the divisiveness of the campaign said we “need to put that behind us.”

Well, here’s an opportunity to demonstrate her commitment to all these promises. Hire Dino Rossi as Director of the Office of Financial Management. He would be invaluable in that role to help the Governor write a bi-partisan, balanced, no tax increase budget.

Posted in State & Local | 1 Comment »

Bashing George W. Bush

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 5, 2008

The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece by Jeffrey Shapiro that reflrcts on the public and political treatment of George W. Bush. President Elect Obama should read it.

An excerpt:

“The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.

Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty — a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.”

Posted in Presidential Politics | 2 Comments »